Autism the thread

Discussion in 'Corner Coffee' started by imanautie, 18th Jun 2020.

  1. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    When I was about your age (19 to my early 20's to be precise) I was very ill and had to learn how to deal with this. As I said before, I'm not autistic like you guys but I absolutely empathise that it's hard to fit in when you're wired up differently and have tendencies to behave differently to others in spontaneous situations.

    Because I found it hard to control, I lost contact with every "friend" I had who all concluded I was too much hard work and wierd. I'm not saying it was a completely healthy thing to do, but after that experience I've spent most of my adult life with my defenses up and constantly looking over my shoulder, trusting no one and seeing everyone as a threat.

    What is healthy though, and I would strongly advise this, I stopped caring about whether others liked me or not. I care very much about offending people and I don't expect others to live their lives around me, but I don't want to be "normal" because I don't think it matters. My brother is autistic and as I'm getting ready for work at the moment, my partner is currently looking after an autistic child downstairs (who's extremely cute) and it's part of who they are. As long as your heart is in the right place (and I know yours firmly is Matt), if someone gets upset over your differences, who really has the problem? Is it you being you or is it them being intolerant and shallow?

    Don't let any condition hold back the talent and intelligence you have. I see you apologising alot on here (when you really don't need to) and I can only think of one time you ever upset me and I had to have a word with myself as I can see it wasn't done purposely, it was me with the problem for not reading into it what it was. There's rules of politeness and offensivness but sometimes it's just other people who have the real problem. Don't try and be liked, try and be respected. If someone tolerant and respectful enough to like you then they're probably not worth seeking approval from anyway.
     
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  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I guess I’ve just found it difficult, and even though I don’t personally identify with some social conventions, I’ve always felt the need to try and “be normal”. This is because even though the vast majority of people have been nothing but nice to me, I have had plenty of people make fun of me over the years, and I’ve always felt like the “odd one out”.

    When I was in primary school, I was the kid who sat on his own in the playground and talked to himself instead of playing with the other kids, and that attracted a fair bit of fun-making from other students (oddly, it was always kids younger than me…), with kids chasing me trying to trip me up on the playground, or doing mocking impressions of me.

    When I was in secondary and sixth form, I never felt entirely normal either, in spite of everyone being perfectly nice to me (I’ll admit I always worried that everyone actually hated me, and was just being nice to me to make me feel included, which is lovely in itself in fairness!).

    When I was in about Year 8, I overheard a group of girls daring each other to ask me on a date. Not because any of them actually wanted to date me, but because I was the weird kid and they wanted to see my reaction, as well as seeing me as someone none of them would ever actually want to date. When one of them actually did, I’d already overheard this conversation, and I wasn’t entirely sure how to respond, so I got kind of overwhelmed and cried. Said girls then berated me for crying and told me I needed to “be a man”. There was also the time I got pushed into a wall by a kid in the year below in Year 9 (he was much bigger than me, though; I’ve never been particularly tall or particularly well-built), as well as the time I got sarcastically wolf-whistled on the playground by some younger boys when I was in Year 12 (I didn’t initially know it was sarcasm, so I said “Umm… thank you!” when they said “You’re very cute, aren’t you?”. I didn’t establish it was sarcasm until I heard them laughing as they walked away, and saying about how I “so fell for it”). In general, I’ve also heard people making jokes about and doing mocking impressions of autistic people, and I’ve always taken it quite personally.

    These are all perfectly nice people, though, so I know I’m being too sensitive, and I need to learn to take a joke better. It hurt me at the time, but I never told anyone about any of these because I know I was just being far too sensitive, and I didn’t want to ruin their fun; they were clearly enjoying themselves doing it, so why should I ruin that for them? Besides, I was always told growing up that no one likes a tattle-tale… I often find that taking these things on the chin and thinking about them alone is easier, and to be honest, I’m sure these people meant well and I probably just took what they did too personally.

    It doesn’t help, either, that when I was at school, I had to go to Annual Review meetings once a year, where my school’s SEN team and my parents would basically discuss how to make me more normal and manage my autistic tendencies within the school environment. While I know these meant well, I’ll admit they weren’t the nicest for me to sit through, and they did make me feel like I was odd, and was somebody that needed “correcting”.

    Sorry about that… I just thought it might provide some insight as to why I’ve always been afraid of not looking “normal”. I know I’m probably being far too sensitive, as all these people are really nice people and I’m sure they meant well; I just need to take a joke better. I’ll admit I am scared about starting university on Monday, as I’m scared about coming across weird to my new peers.
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2021
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  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not sure what to say to most of what you've posted there, Matt (other than I think you can be a bit hard on yourself sometimes), but regarding uni, chances are you'll be fine. I don't talk about my second year flatmates much, largely because two of them repeatedly made things really awkward for the rest of us and were quite disrespectful when others were in the kitchen (speaking from personal experience here when I was watching the TV). First year ones, though, were really good, and didn't seem bothered by the fact I wasn't normal. I don't think I ever told them exactly why I was different, though they were rather patient and understanding. There were one or two incidents, though, when one of them (plus a friend who was on the same campus) took liberties with me - such as putting all the bottles for recycling outside my room while I was in it and posting the photo on my Facebook wall, to which I told them to move them immediately - but they were few and far between. Course, I understand things will be different for you in comparison to me, given you won't be living on campus, but don't let that stop you from trying to enjoy uni life as much as you can. Generally, people at uni seem to be more mature than they were at school & college, so I'm confident you'll be fine. If you haven't got in touch with student support services already, then I'd encourage you to do so, as they should be able to help put things in place that can assist you in the university experience.
     
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  4. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Annual reviews are not for the benefit of the disabled student they are for the benefit of parents and the school.

    Sent from my Swift 2 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry I posted that long post above; I was more keen to put across why I might have always felt a desire to be “normal”… I’m not trying to paint myself as a victim, because I know I’m not one. I just think I was being far too sensitive in all those cases, as I’m sure that they were all perfectly nice people and probably meant well! I didn’t intend to put any of you in an awkward situation…

    As for university; thanks for the reassurance. I’ve already spoken to UoG’s disability team, who have been lovely, and I was also encouraged by my parents to apply for DSA, which I was eligible for. This means I have some other support in place for when I’m there (for instance, the SLC have arranged an autism-specific mentor as well as a study skills mentor for me to speak to when I’m there).

    I must admit, this thread has reassured me a lot, and given me a little more confidence to talk about my condition. I never knew TST had so many fellow autistics, and from having chatted to some of you, it seems as though many of you have had very similar experiences to me; it’s nice to be able to talk to people who understand me and empathise with me. So thank you for that!
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2021
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  6. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I get told all the time by my (amazing) personal assistant that I'm being too hard on myself. She is right as I frequently get annoyed with myself about my behaviour. I know I need to do something about it (and I genuinely want to), but it's not easy.
     
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  7. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    I often think I'm too hard on myself and overthink things, but given my dad often overreacts at the most minor of things, can you blame me?
     
  8. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I have that problem too. My family whine at me about all my minor habits and such. Doesn't help my behaviour at times.
     
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  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    My mum can often act as a bit of a mediator between my dad and I, which I appreciate. It's like he's always looking for the negatives in everything I say, no matter how much of a positive spin I try to put on things, and frequently twists things so as to put the blame on me when I'm not the one at fault.
     
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  10. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I moved out from my mum before I was eighteen because of all of the above.
    My first rent was twenty quid a week, for a posh self contained flat, that I could run on a part time bar job while studying.
    Now, not a chance is there.
    Independent living gets rid of a lot of problems with relations.
     
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  11. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Sad but true. I desperately want to move out and become more independent, but I can't afford it.
     
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  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    See, my parents are amazing, and I have no issue with continuing to live with them! They’ve always been so supportive and helpful, and I honestly couldn’t thank them enough!
     
  13. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Can we swap? :p
     
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  14. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I can relate to some of the things you are saying @Matt N about school life. Although I'm not autistic I had many of the same issues of just not fitting in and not always getting exactly what people meant. I wouldn't let it bother you as I did myself. I find myself doubting myself and overthinking everything a lot but I try to remember that being 'normal' isn't thing. Nobody is 'normal' and this fact alone has really helped me to relax and stop thinking about my interactions.
     
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  15. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Normal’s such a subjective term anyway. I try to avoid using it when I can.
     
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  16. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about school culture either as after you leave, the rest of your life is nothing like that. I despised every second I was at school and left at 16 with nothing. Work has been my saviour and I've somewhat excelled in a work environment whereas I failed at school.
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2021
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  17. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    This song basically describes me... :p:(

     
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  18. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    I so often try to think about what I'm going to say before I actually say it. It sometimes takes me so long to think of the best response that conversation's moved on. Sometimes, no matter how hard I think things through, what I say is still seen as wrong or too blunt. Like, what do you expect me to do? Not contribute a single thing to any conversation for the rest of my life, even in areas of expertise to me? In the words of Bart Simpson, "Get bent."
     
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  19. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    AAC FTW! you get the thinking about it, typing it and about to hit speak/show, yet I still feel like I'm saying something wrong!
     
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